Jamaica is a country belonging to the Antilles, in Central America, whose capital is Kingston. It has a population of 3 million inhabitants (139º) and an area of 10,991 km 2 (160º). Its human development index is high (97th) and its official currency is the Jamaican dollar. But what language is spoken in Jamaica?
What language do they speak in Jamaica?
Jamaica has one official language, English.
However, Jamaica is a bilingual country (46.4%), since Jamaican Patois is spoken in addition to English, being this the most widely spoken language (36.5% of the population speaks only Patois, while 17.1% of the population speaks only English).
The most common immigrant languages are Chinese (31,000), Spanish (8,000), Portuguese (5,000), and Arabic (2,000).
The English language
English (English) is spoken by 63.5 % of the population. It is the third largest English-speaking country in the Americas, after the United States and Canada. It is used in all areas of daily life, including government, the legal system, the media, and education.
The Patois language
Jamaican Patois (Patwa) is Jamaican Creole English. It is spoken by 82.9% of the population. It arose from the pidgin that originated mainly from English and African languages. It also has slight influences from French and Spanish. Recently, education has begun to offer formal instruction in Patois, retaining English as the official language of instruction.
The Spanish language
In 2018 it was agreed to make Spanish the first foreign language and, in addition, make it official. The government and the Cervantes Institute studied how to strengthen the teaching of the Spanish language at all educational levels (primary, secondary and university).
With this measure, the country intends to open up to the rest of the Spanish-speaking Caribbean countries and the Latin American market.
Share which languages are spoken in Jamaica.